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Voting deadline for Flagstaff hospital proposal a week away

A rendering of the proposed Flagstaff Medical Center campus at Fort Tuthill.
Northern Arizona Healthcare
A rendering of the proposed Flagstaff Medical Center campus at Fort Tuthill.

Flagstaff is a week away from a mail-in election that’ll decide whether Northern Arizona Healthcare will be able to move forward with plans to build a new hospital. The proposal has sparked both opposition and support.

Proposition 480 asks voters whether to approve zoning for the first phase of a new hospital complex on nearly a hundred acres near Fort Tuthill County Park. The Flagstaff City Council last summer green-lit the initial plan for the Health and Wellness Village to replace the current Flagstaff Medical Center.

But a community group forced a vote on the project expected to cost more than $800,000 million. They’re concerned about possible impacts to local neighborhoods and long-term costs and say there’s been a lack of transparency and community input in the process. The group wants NAH to update its current facility. The company, however, says the hospital has reached the limits of renovation as the region’s growing population has overwhelmed FMC. NAH has said if the referendum fails it could look for other locations outside of Flagstaff for a new facility.

Ballots were mailed earlier this month and must be received at the county recorder’s office by Tue, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.